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A scleroma is a hardened patch of tissue in the skin or mucous membranes. It usually forms in the head and neck. The nose is the most common location for scleromas, but they can also form in the throat and upper lungs.

A scleroma can form when a chronic bacterial infection causes inflammation, swelling, and scarring in the tissues. They are most common in Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, India and Indonesia. Scleromas are rare in the United States and Western Europe. Treatment may require surgery and a long course of antibiotics.

Alternative Names

Induration; Rhinoscleroma


Donnenberg MS. Enterobacteriaceae. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2014:chap 220.

Fawaz S, Tiba M, Salman M, Othman H. Clinical, radiological and pathological study of 88 cases of typical and complicated scleroma. Clin Respir J. 2011;5(2):112-21.

Review Date 4/28/2015

Updated by: Gordon A. Starkebaum, MD, professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.